OK, I could not resist putting up a video of Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ). Scott Bradlee the piano player is also the founder of PMJ. PMJ is a musical collective of about 70 performers. No two videos have exactly the same performing combination. There are multiple singers, at least three piano players and many multi-instrumentalists. Their hook is that they take a song from one genre, rework it and perform it in another genre. So, as in this video they take a fairly new Radiohead song and perform it as a vintage jazz tune. They are wildly popular these days with more than one touring group coming out of the collective.

Earlier I posted a video about Morgan James - she is one of the vocalists who work with Post Modern Jukebox. I originally sent this video to Bronwen because of the clarinet.

I might as well get all of my music tips out in the open this morning. Playing for Change is the brain child of Mark Johnson. Mark is a music producer from LA who came to the conclusion that some of the best music that he has heard is on the street. He put together the technology so that instead of bringing musicians to the studio, he could "take the studio to the street". For a single video he might record six street performers in different locations around the world and then mix them to create one arrangement. Think about this - guitar on the canal in Venice, vocals in Vancouver on the beach, rhythm in Kenya, and backup vocals from New Orleans. This is fun stuff.

Morgan James


Morgan James is a pretty good singer. At 14 she had a repertoire of 200 songs that she sang a capella in her home town restaurants. At 18, she was enrolled in the Julliard to become an opera singer. After graduation she worked in Broadway musicals. Now 36, she has put out a couple of albums and is doing a "whirlwind tour". She is the best singer that I have heard in a long time.

I should have posted about this months ago. It is just one of the things that got dropped as I took a vacation from The VOX. Somehow back then I got myself in communication with the moderator of a Royal Canadian Navy online historical project. I do not know who found who because I have occasionally sent old RCN photos to their museum in Halifax for preservation and display and they have contacted me about these photos or I may have contacted them. Regardless the person who I was in contact with introduced me to For Posterity's Sake a website "dedicated to the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and the ships they served in". HMCS Niobe

I was invited to contribute obituaries and summarized service records for my father and for Carol's father. I did and they are present on the site. My father had collected some group photos of his ships crew and they were also very pleased to get these.

If you have old photos of RCN ships, pictures of relatives who served, or their obituaries please let me know and I will help you get digital copies displayed in this memorial. I can also help you find war-time service records if they would be of interest. Anyways - a great tribute to those who sailed for Canada.

John McCrae House Look for people to be standing in this scene in about 48 hours.

70th Birthday


Just thought that I would throw a photo up here showing the delicious white cake with caramel icing - a family tradition, baked by Bronwen.

Caramel Icing

I am not sure that she needed help blowing out the candle but everybody wanted to pitch in.

Eryn 2nd Birthday

I do not think that Rogers ever did anything right the first time for me when I was their customer. If I called to cancel a block of stations, they would do it but then add the Rogers Magazine to my account, somewhat negating the savings that I was trying to achieve. Not so with Time Warner. I called them last week to ask for my service to be restored when I got here today, and they told me that everything was being restored 5 days ago. They had recorded my wishes from last spring and were going to execute on the day we agreed back then. I was pretty certain that when I got here I would have to call for some reason. So far not so; everything is working fine.

This is for Jamie

I have been thinking lately about the possibility of someone starting a new appliance company. We know that GE and MayTag make appliances; we all have them in our homes - Major appliances like crappy refrigerators, crappy stoves, crappy dish washers, crappy microwave ovens, and crappy clothes washers and dryers. There are other manufacturers too, like crappy Bosch, crappy Samsung, and crappy LG.

My thinking is that it would be a good idea to start a company that made really good, simple, constantly improving appliances. I vision a product that is steel not plastic, that constantly evolves not to meet marketing needs, but to make it more reliable, deliver more essential function, and be more energy conscious. It will reuse a very high percentage of its parts from year to year rather than being redesigned with new knobs and switches each year.

Deming would be proud of these appliances. Their design and development would fit within the Sigma Six quality programs from Xerox. They would not be about new models for the sake of new models, they would change only when a real improvement to reliability, ecology, function or cost can be delivered. The warrantee would reflect the quality. Long warrantees with No-Question customer service.


I have been a Rogers internet customer for a long time. For more than one reason I have been thinking of dropping my Rogers Home Phone, TV, and Internet service and moving to an "Internet only" model for TV and Phone. With the introduction of Sling.com in the US I decided that I would make the move now as we head south for the winter. I cancelled everything 3 days ago.

This morning Rogers gave us a rude shot when they let me know that by cancelling our internet service, Carol had lost the email address that she has been using for the past 20 years, and that if she did not move her email to Yahoo.ca today the email in the old account would be lost. My email is OK because years ago I had moved to Apple's mail services with Google's Gmail as my backup.

So . . . my advice would be that you should never include your email service within a larger technology bundle. Keep your email with a free service (Google Gmail is great). Bundling your email with your TV, your phone, your internet connection reduces your ability to take advantage of new hardware technology in your neighbourhood. It also reduces your ability to move to another carrier because of service issues and the like.

For the record my current plan is:

Service Estimated Cost
Bell Fibe Internet 60GB download, Unlimited Usage ~$80 per month
Apple TV for all TVs one time purchase
Netflix subscription for Movies $10 per month
Sling subscription for News, Sports, HBO and Tennis Channel $40US per month

I will need to use a PVN to access Sling from Canada, but I already have this (Avast PVN) and have tested Sling using it. The PVN is a necessity when you are trying to access US content (such as Pandora) from Canada.

Carol and I are in established in our hotel room in Fort Wayne. I think that we just made it out of Collingwood on time for it was cold, and windy with traces of sleet and snow all the way from Duntroon to Shelborne. We are listening to an audio book as we drive, "The Girl On The Train". I was so engrossed in the story that I missed the exit to highway 69 near Port Huron and then an hour later took an exit to highway 96 near Angola. I am not certain that I should be listening/reading as I travel.

Our friends Keitha and Ross hosted a Bean-town Festival last evening for cult-like collection of neighbours. Everybody is nuts about baked beans. Some folk even brought their own tupperware. Keitha claimed that she cooked 8 pounds of beans for 10 people. 8 pounds of beans, properly rehydrated is just slightly more than what is required to fill a 5 gallon pail. 10 people, 5 gallons. Roughly 2 quarts of beans per person - then desert. there was barely room for a couple of beers and and a snort of rum. It was a very nice evening.